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Midnight Sun
08-25-2010, 12:38 AM
Some background on my question: I have just finished off a glass of Moose's Tooth Apple Ale. Moose's Tooth is a local micro brewer and the apple ale is cloudy.

I understand that for judging purposes, clear is better. But does the clarity of a mead affect the taste? If so, how much? Maybe it is more yeasty tasting?

akueck
08-25-2010, 01:02 AM
Judging is all about "to style". If the style you're making is clear, you want it to be clear. If it's supposed to be cloudy, then clear would be a flaw. There are lots of tricks for making a Hefewiezen cloudy, for example, even though the real reason they're cloudy is the suspended yeast.

For your own personal consumption, you can make mead as cloudy or as clear as you want. Yeast does have a flavor, so if that is what makes it cloudy there will also be a taste impact. Different strains will have slightly different flavors, so some are "better" than others in that regard (all yeast will taste, well, yeasty and sometimes slightly bitter). Lots of other compounds cause haze, like suspended proteins, starches, pectins, etc. These are generally considered flaws but in small doses won't affect the flavor at all.

As for the cloudy apple ale, first it sounds really good, and second the brewer might have intentionally made it cloudy (to look like fresh pressed unfiltered juice?). Or maybe they just screwed something up. I'm betting since it's a commercial product that it's supposed to be cloudy. If you go to the brewery, ask about it!

DaleP
08-25-2010, 06:39 AM
Judging aside, a mead should be clear. This is why you don't serve mead in a coffee cup. Part of the enjoyment is looking at the mead thru a light, swirling observing the legs, then the aroma, finally the taste. The two previous scensory perceptions influence the taste, the mind is a twisted thing, if you don't believe me, add food coloring (of the tasteless kind) to your mashed potatoes.

Jord
08-25-2010, 01:29 PM
Judging aside, a mead should be clear. This is why you don't serve mead in a coffee cup. Part of the enjoyment is looking at the mead thru a light, swirling observing the legs, then the aroma, finally the taste. The two previous scensory perceptions influence the taste, the mind is a twisted thing, if you don't believe me, add food coloring (of the tasteless kind) to your mashed potatoes.

I actually do tend to drink my mead from a coffee cup...or whatever else is handy at the time......

AToE
08-25-2010, 02:45 PM
I can't really drink my mead from anything other than a wine glass, all other shapes of mug/glass/etc really don't do the taste justice. It tastes fine, but I know it could be tasting better out of a wine glass, so generally I go with what tastes best.

DaleP
08-25-2010, 03:14 PM
I actually do tend to drink my mead from a coffee cup...or whatever else is handy at the time......

Sorry, but you are missing a lot.

Midnight Sun
08-25-2010, 09:24 PM
akueck, thanks! Style was the answer I figured, I guess that it was not fair to compare apples to oranges. Thank you too for the other info regarding suspended solids vs flavor.

DaleP, you have a good point about color affecting the perception of taste. The idea of blue mashed potatoes does not appeal one bit!

PitBull
08-25-2010, 09:44 PM
DaleP, you have a good point about color affecting the perception of taste. The idea of blue mashed potatoes does not appeal one bit!
Even Heinz eventually had to discontinue their line of colored ketchup products called EZ Squirt, which eventually included green, purple, pink, orange, teal, and blue. Novelty (in this case “gross”) goes out style after a while. However, the appeal of excellent style never goes out of style.

BTW, my kids absolutely loved green orange juice, made by adding a few drops of blue food coloring to the juice. It really looked gross. Yuk!

akueck
08-25-2010, 11:58 PM
BTW, my kids absolutely loved green orange juice, made by adding a few drops of blue food coloring to the juice. It really looked gross. Yuk!

Haha, my not-quite-21 self tried making green screwdrivers on St Patty's Day using green dye. It turns a pukey gray color. Tastes the same though.

I'll have to half-agree with Dale here. Yes, sight is a huge part of taste. (what's that saying? you taste first with your eyes, or something like that.) But my perception is not the same as everyone's. I've had perfectly good wine out of a plastic Solo cup and didn't feel like anything in particular was lost, and terrible wine made not one drop better by the Riedel glass it was in. Does a nice presentation help? Sure, but it better be good before it hits the glass.

Fisher kel Tath
08-26-2010, 12:10 AM
Judging aside, a mead should be clear. This is why you don't serve mead in a coffee cup. Part of the enjoyment is looking at the mead thru a light, swirling observing the legs, then the aroma, finally the taste. The two previous scensory perceptions influence the taste, the mind is a twisted thing, if you don't believe me, add food coloring (of the tasteless kind) to your mashed potatoes.

I drink my mead out of a horn.

akueck
08-26-2010, 12:14 AM
How do you clean a horn? Soap and water? Are they coated with anything or just plain old keratin?

Fisher kel Tath
08-26-2010, 12:32 AM
How do you clean a horn? Soap and water? Are they coated with anything or just plain old keratin?

got it treated from a friend, it's a simple process, you just have to fill it and let it soak with alcohol (beer, mead) for awhile.

As for cleaning, usually just fill it with hot water and dump it a few times after drinking from it.

jtolleridge
08-26-2010, 01:15 AM
I use the racking hose as a straw and drink straight out of the carboy. :drunken_smilie:

Chevette Girl
08-26-2010, 12:04 PM
I actually find the smell is FAR more important to me as a first impression than whether I'm drinking out of a goblet, wine glass, gourd, mug or plastic cup... No matter what I'm drinking out of, I cup it in my hands and have a sniff...

AToE
08-26-2010, 12:35 PM
The reason I find my meads have all tasted better out of certain glasses is nothing to do with visuals, I can see the mead just fine through a water glass or clear mug, the issue is how the shape of the glass makes the mead taste by aiming it at different parts of the mouth first, and the angle it makes you tip your head too to drink. - Mead out of a mug or water glass tastes muted to me.

Same thing with beer, I have 2 really nice glasses for drinking Belgian style beer, and most of the time I drink all my beer out of those (sometimes mead too), but sometimes the beer just doesn't agree with those glasses and wants to be in something thinner and straight sided.

Or so I think anyways, maybe a blindfolded test might teach me otherwise.

PainInUrHead
09-01-2010, 07:59 PM
I use the racking hose as a straw and drink straight out of the carboy. :drunken_smilie:
Hell yeah!!! I will probably end up doing that as well. Maybe a carboy stand as well?(not) But with a bunch of people they could be a bonding experience(more like party)

Midnight Sun
09-02-2010, 01:49 AM
I use the racking hose as a straw and drink straight out of the carboy. :drunken_smilie:

How did I miss this post? Sounds like a good way to make a mess: the mead would come out of the siphon WAY faster than I could swallow.


Hell yeah!!! I will probably end up doing that as well. Maybe a carboy stand as well?(not) But with a bunch of people they could be a bonding experience(more like party)

I don't know... sounds a bit like a mead hangover in the making. Never had one myself, nor do I care to. I'll leave that to the younger crowd ;)

DaleP
09-02-2010, 05:51 AM
The reason I find my meads have all tasted better out of certain glasses is nothing to do with visuals, I can see the mead just fine through a water glass or clear mug, the issue is how the shape of the glass makes the mead taste by aiming it at different parts of the mouth first, and the angle it makes you tip your head too to drink. - Mead out of a mug or water glass tastes muted to me.

Same thing with beer, I have 2 really nice glasses for drinking Belgian style beer, and most of the time I drink all my beer out of those (sometimes mead too), but sometimes the beer just doesn't agree with those glasses and wants to be in something thinner and straight sided.

Or so I think anyways, maybe a blindfolded test might teach me otherwise.

I had the oppertunity to attend a beer glass class. The glass does make a difference. Do side by side taste test, forom avery good glass and a cheap glass, and note the difference, cheap glass will often give a greenish hue to it.